Paris has always been a crossroad where various art movements originated and met, giving birth to spectacular forms of art. Some of them were imported from various parts of the world, while others were conceived and created by ingenious artists that worked in Paris. Therefore, there are many spectacular works of art you can see in the city streets, squares, museums and art galleries.
Art movements in Paris
As you walk the center of Paris, you will see masterpieces of Classicism, Baroque, Gothic and other famous art movements now and then. Once you enter any of numerous museums and art galleries, the selection of art movements multiplies. While you are still outdoors, though, there is a great number of particular architectural details, monuments and sculptures that will draw your attention.
If you stroll along the Seine River, sooner or later you will come across the Pont Alexandre III. Built during the Belle Epoque, it features Art Nouveau elements, which were particularly in vogue during the 1890s and 1900s. The Baroque masterpiece of the French capital, the gilded dome of Les Invalides, can be seen just south of the beautiful bridge.
Neoclassicism is represented by a couple of extraordinary structures. When you lay eyes on La Madeleine church, you will be under the impression that you are in front of a Greek temple rather than of the Roman Catholic religious structure. You can recognize the Palais Brongniart as another neoclassical masterpiece of Paris, not to mention the Perrault’s Colonnade on the eastern side of the Musee du Louvre. The most striking Gothic examples – the Notre Dame Cathedrale and the Sainte-Chapelle – can be found on the Ile de la Cite.
As you enter Paris’s parks and gardens, you can admire colorful and expressive forms or art. In most cases, those feature French garden style, which celebrated Andre Le Notre, one of the most gifted landscape designers ever. You are sure to notice various floral patterns and outstanding artwork blended into a perfect symmetry, as well as bodies of water reflecting the sky, nearby works of art and floral and tree patterns.
Displays at museums and art galleries
Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet, Renoir, Dali and Rodin are just a few among numerous big names of the Paris art scene whose legendary works of art are on displays in the city museums. Some museums exhibit works of art created by single artists and Rodin, Dali, Delacroix and Picasso are among them.
Antiquity, Impressionism, Symbolism, Realism, Contemporary and Abstract arts are ever-present at museums and art galleries. At the Musee du Louvre, for instance, you can examine an extensive collection of Antique works of art, comprising those originated in ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. At the Musee Guimet, on the other hand, appreciate the Asian artwork, including exhibits collected in the Angkor Wat. Furthermore, the Musee du quai Branly showcases the great collection of the African art, as well as exhibits from Oceania, Asia and both Americas.
The Musee d’Orsay has the largest Impressionist art collection, as well as especially comprehensive displays of Orientalism, Classicism, Realism and Barbizon School among others. The Centre Pompidou boasts an immense display of Contemporary and Modern art.
Tips for visiting Paris museums
You can visit most Paris museums on the first Sunday in the month for free, some all year round (the Musee d’Orsay, the Centre Pompidou, the Musee du quai Branly…), others from November to April (the Louvre and the Musee Rodin). The Maison de Victor Hugo and the Musee Carnavalet are among the museums that can always be visited for free.
However, the leading museums of Paris tend to be overcrowded during admission-free days. To avoid the inconvenience that may prevent you to efficiently appreciate the museum’s art display, you can purchase the Paris Museum Pass. It entitles you to tour museums you like for a few consecutive days.
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